|10||Spring At Last||$1,800,586|
Gulfstream’s total for 30 races over the three days was approximately $18.7 million, according to a review of Equibase charts. Calder’s three-day total for 25 races was approximately $2.8 million.
Breakdowns of live, ITW and ISW wagering were not readily available.
It was the first weekend in which the two Miami-area tracks raced head-to-head on Friday as well as Saturday and Sunday.
Gulfstream had been dark on Fridays during the head-to-head competition that began last July 6. From July through November, it held its first summer/fall race meet—without the big-name horses, jockeys and trainers it has each winter.
On head-to-head days during that period, Gulfstream had average daily all-sources handle of about $2.5 million and Calder had about $1.2 million.
Tampa Bay Downs joined the weekend competition Dec. 6-7, making it the first time all three Florida Thoroughbred tracks have raced on the same day. Tampa Bay, in Oldsmar, Fla., was dark Dec. 8. It will add Sundays to its schedule Dec. 15.
Gulfstream is in Hallandale Beach, about eight miles east of Calder in Miami Gardens. Both tracks are about a four-hour drive from Tampa Bay Downs.
The Dec. 6-8 weekend was a first test on whether there would be enough horses and enough betting interest, live and off-site, for nine Florida race cards over three days.
The early answer was “yes” for all three on major stakes days. Overall, Gulfstream and Tampa Bay numbers were similar to early December 2012.
But Calder could face some challenges, considering the data for Friday, Dec. 6. According to Equibase charts, all-sources handle numbers that day were: Gulfstream—$4,529,443; Tampa Bay—$2,728,877; Calder—$470,190.
On Dec. 7 Gulfstream had the Claiming Crown with eight stakes races and Calder had three grade III stakes. That day was Tampa Bay’s opening Saturday, which always has strong local and national interest. The 10-race card had two $100,000 stakes. Gulfstream’s all-sources handle that day was $4,080,724.
On Dec. 1, 2012, Gulfstream had its opening day and held the Claiming Crown for the first time. It had all-sources handle of $12,216,459 for 19 races.
All-sources numbers for the day were: Gulfstream—$8,831,567; Calder—$1,444,067; Tampa Bay—$3,488,412.
Dry weather enabled all three tracks to have turf racing each day. Average field sizes for the weekend were: Gulfstream 10; Tampa Bay—9.2; Calder—7.6. Gulfstream’s average was boosted by the 11.5 starters per race it had for 10 races on Claiming Crown day.
Tampa Bay general manager Peter Berube said he is pleased with the track’s early handle numbers “especially considering the new landscape with three (Florida) tracks.”
Tampa Bay’s Dec. 7 all-sources handle was just less than 1% lower than its $4,167,125 on Dec. 1, 2012—its first Saturday which also was opening day for its meet and a day with Gulfstream as its only Florida competitor.
“Our numbers are about where we hoped they would be this weekend,” Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo said Dec. 8. “We were optimistic coming off the momentum of our summer meet. But we couldn’t be sure because it was the first weekend with all three tracks.”
Gulfstream plans to race at least three days per week, including Saturdays and Sundays, during its 2014 summer/fall meet, Ritvo said.
Gulfstream and Calder are racing head-to-head after they could not resolve a dispute over race dates.
Officials of Calder’s parent Churchill Downs Inc. and of Gulfstream’s parent Stronach Group are continuing to talk about a possible resolution to the overlapping dates. In that case, Calder probably would reduce or eliminate its number of weekend dates in return for cash or other incentives.
But Ritvo and John Marshall, Calder vice president and general manager of racing, previously said they are not optimistic about prospects of a settlement.
Calder during the week of Dec. 9 will announce its stakes schedule for the first three months of 2014
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82364/gulfstream-expands-lead-in-handle#ixzz2n4RJoxKw
The B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee has conditionally approved in principle a 34-day schedule of Standardbred racing at Fraser Downs racetrack covering the months of January through April 2014.
The schedule features racing on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons with the traditional exception of New Year’s Day racing on Wednesday, Jan. 1st.
The schedule is conditional on approval of an income-sharing arrangement involving track operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp., the Standardbred sector and the Thoroughbred sector. Negotiations aimed at securing such an arrangement are still under way.
It is recognized that adjustments to this schedule may still be made based on the income-sharing formula ultimately put in place. Additional racing days are anticipated to be added to the second half of the 2014 Standardbred racing calendar. The schedule has been approved by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.
Douglas S. Scott, Chair
Horse Racing Industry Management Committee
Dec. 8, 2013
Comma to the Top, whose victory in the 2010 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) topped a highlight-filled career, has been retired but will remain with trainer Peter Miller as a stable pony.
“That day he won the Futurity gave us our biggest thrill,” said Miller. “It was pouring rain and there was a long delay in the paddock for a shoe repair, but he won easily.”
Miller said Comma to the Top, who was raced by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Kevin Tsujihara, will need training to learn his new role.
“It usually takes about six months,” he said. “You have to re-break them and get them used to a different saddle.”
A 5-year-old bay gelding by Bwana Charlie out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm, Comma to the Top ends his career with 14 victories in 33 starts and earnings of $1,349,406.
An eight-time stakes winner, he won three in 2013 including the Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood. He is one of 36 horses to win at least five stakes races at Hollywood Park.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82358/new-career-plans-for-retired-comma-to-the-top#ixzz2myf6IAWI
Three-time grade I winner Flat Out has been retired, owner Art Preston confirmed. Stallion plans are pending.
The 7-year-old Florida-bred son of Flatter won the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott under regular rider Junior Alvarado Nov. 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack, wrapping up a well-traveled career with a 9-5-5 record from 29 starts and earnings of $3,645,383. In addition to the Cigar Mile, he took back-to-back editions of the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park in 2011 and 2012. He was third in the Gold Cup this year.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82316/multiple-grade-i-winner-flat-out-retired#ixzz2msWt1ny1
Buoyed by an 11% increase in total commingled pari-mutuel handle for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, wagering on United States races improved 4.37% in November compared with the same month last year.
Total wagering improved to $905,786,453 despite a 2.11% decline in race days—individual race programs by track—to 371. November 2013 did benefit from five Saturdays in the month this year compared with four last year.
The improved November handle numbers follow a strong October in which wagering improved 8.3% compared with October 2012.
For the year, pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races is up 0.89% to $10,174,191,155. Last year handle improved 1% compared with 2011, ending a five-year run in which handle decreased each year.
For the month of November, purses improved 1.58% to $106,111,542 compared with November 2012. For the year, purses are up 0.43% to $1,057,264,192.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82312/wagering-up-more-than-4-in-november#ixzz2mhbipSrD
Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man will return to competition in 2014 with a goal of defending his title in the $5 million race he won Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, according to his connections.
For a third consecutive year, the World Championships will be hosted by Santa Anita next year.
A 6-year-old son of Macho Uno trained by Kathy Ritvo, Mucho Macho Man overcame early-season health issues and an injury to return to form late, winning the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) previous to his Classic triumph.
“We just decided for sure (Dec. 4) that we’re going to target the Breeders’ Cup again at Santa Anita,” said Finn Green, stable manager of Dean and Patti Reeves’ Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. “The front end of the season right now is wide open. Kathy and I are going to do some evaluating over the next few months and make some decisions about how Kathy is going to start him off.”
“He has shown us all the right signs and shown us he wants to be on the track,” said Ritvo, the first woman to saddle the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. “He looks great. He just loves his job.”
Mucho Macho Man has won or placed in 19 of 23 starts for earnings of $5,340,410.
Among the options being considered for the Florida-bred horse are two races at Gulfstream Park: the $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 18 and the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 8. Green said grass racing is also under consideration for Mucho Macho Man.
“The horse is potentially extremely versatile,” Green said. “We plan on working the horse on the turf toward the end of (December), and Kathy and I will make a decision after that work about turf for him next year.”
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82286/mucho-macho-man-to-race-in-2014#ixzz2mb525Jmv
A new facility featuring Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing is expected to open in 2014 near Calgary, Alberta, the partners in the project announced Dec. 4.
United Horsemen of Alberta and Century Casinos said the racetrack and gaming facility will be called Century Downs Racetrack and Casino. The partners said funding of about $24 million for the project has been secured.
Harness racing would begin by the end of 2014, according to projections. The first Thoroughbred meet would be held in 2016.
Calgary was home to Stampede Park, where horse racing ended in 2008. United Horsemen of Alberta has spent more than a decade attempting to develop and open a racetrack and entertainment center in Calgary.
Officials said Century Downs will have a 5 1/2-furlong racing surface, 550 gaming machines, an off-track betting area, and a bar, lounge, and restaurant. The track will be located less than a mile north of Calgary not far from the Calgary International Airport.
Northlands Park, the province’s major racetrack, is located in Edmonton about three hours north of Calgary.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82288/partners-to-build-racetrack-casino-in-calgary#ixzz2mZ4K7YGK
The first major event of the Gulfstream Park Championship Meet will take place Dec. 7 with the Claiming Crown, a collection of eight stakes races worth a total of $1 million.
In 2012, horses sporting the red-and-white silks of Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker swept four of the seven Claiming Crown events, including the $200,000 Jewel with Parent’s Honor. They also came within a head of winning a fifth with Major Marvel in the Emerald. The popular couple currently leads all owners in 2013 earnings with more than $11.8 million, and will have a chance to go one better in this year’s Claiming Crown with contenders entered in five of the eight races.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/82294/ramseys-ready-for-claiming-crown#ixzz2mZ47zFR6
The minimum stakes purse for the 2014 winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack has been increased to $100,000 from $75,000, the New York Racing Association announced Dec. 4.
NYRA also announced that Aqueduct will race Mondays instead of Wednesdays. The track will race five days a week in January and March on a Thursday-through-Monday schedule, and four days a week in February (Fridays through Mondays).
Stakes purses will total about $6 million for the meet. The $1 million Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), New York‘s premier prep race for the Triple Crown, tops the stakes schedule and will be contested April 5. The program will include the $500,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I), the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes and the $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (both gr. II), and the $300,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III).
The Wood Memorial Stakes preps are the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 4, the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 1, and the $500,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 1.
NYRA officials said the weekly schedules at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course will mirror those of recent years, with racing six days a week at Saratoga.
The 2014 Aqueduct Racetrack winter/spring stakes schedule:
|Wed., Jan 1||Sat., Dec. 21||Interborough||100,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs|
|Wed., Jan. 1||“||Affectionately||100,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/16|
|Sat., Jan. 4||“||Jerome||II||200,000||3YO||1 Mile 70 Yds|
|Sat., Jan. 4||“||Busanda||100,000||F 3YO||1 Mile 70 Yds|
|Sat., Jan 11||Sat., Dec. 28||Ruthless||100,000||F 3YO||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Jan. 18||Sat., Jan. 4||Evening Attire||100,000||3 & UP||1 1/16|
|Mon., Jan. 20||“||Jimmy Winkfield||100,000||3 YO||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Jan 25||“||Ladies Hdcp||100,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/8|
|Sat., Jan 25||TRIPLE CROWN (Early Closing)|
|Sat., Feb. 1||Sat., Jan 18||Busher||100,000||F 3YO||1 1/16|
|Sat., Feb. 1||“||Toboggan||III||150,000||3 & UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Feb. 1||“||Correction||100,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Feb. 1||“||Withers||III||250,000||3 YO||1 1/16|
|Sat., Feb. 8||Sat., Jan. 25||Dearly Precious||100,000||F 3YO||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Feb. 15||Sat., Feb. 1||Stymie||100,000||3 & UP||1 1/8|
|Mon., Feb. 17||“||Hollie Hughes (NYB)||100,000||3 & UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Feb. 22||Sat., Feb 8||Kings Point (NYB)||100,000||3 & UP||1 1/16|
|Sat., Mar. 1||Sat., Feb. 15||Tom Fool Hdcp.||III||200,000||3 & UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Mar. 1||“||Gotham||III||500,000||3YO||1 1/16|
|Sat., Mar. 1||“||Top Flight Hdcp.||II||200,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/16|
|Sat., Mar. 8||Sat., Feb. 22||Fred “Cappy” Capossela||100,000||3 YO||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Mar. 15||Sat., Mar. 1||Cicada||100,000||F 3YO||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Mar. 22||TRIPLE CROWN (Late Closing)|
|Sat., Mar. 22||Sat., Mar. 8||Excelsior||III||150,000||3 & UP||1 1/8|
|Sat., Mar. 29||Sat., Mar. 15||Broadway (NYB)||100,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Apr. 5||Sat., Mar. 22||Wood Memorial||I||1,000,000||3YO||1 1/8|
|Sat., Apr. 5||“||Carter Hdcp.||I||500,000||3&UP||7 Furlongs|
|Sat., Apr. 5||“||Bay Shore||III||300,000||3YO||7 Furlongs|
|Sat., Apr. 5||“||Gazelle||II||300,000||F 3YO||1 1/8|
|Sat., Apr. 5||“||Ruffian Hdcp.||II||250,000||F&M 3&UP||1 Mile|
|Sat., Apr. 19||Sat., Apr. 5||Distaff (Hdcp)||II||200,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs|
|Sat., Apr. 26||CLOSED||New York Stallion Stakes||100,000||F 3YO||6 1/2 Furlongs|
|Park Avenue Division|
|Sat., Apr. 26||CLOSED||New York Stallion Stakes|